SCOTTVILLE — City Manager Jimmy Newkirk officially started in his new position on Wednesday, May 5, after signing an employment agreement with the City of Scottville.
Newkirk was extended a job offer by the city commission on April 19. He was selected by commissioners out of three finalists — narrowed down from a total of 17 applicants — after a search conducted by Arch Staffing & Consulting of Ludington.
Then came contract negotiations with Mayor Marcy Spencer and City Attorney Carlos Alvarado. On Monday, May 3, Spencer stated that Newkirk had struck a verbal agreement with the city, and would physically sign a contract shortly.
He signed the day he started, on May 5, according to the contract, which was provided to the Daily News by Alvarado.
Newkirk’s starting salary is $60,000 per year, the same as that of his predecessor, Courtney Magaluk, who left the city through a mutual-separation agreement earlier this year.
The terms of the contract are for one year — May 5, 2021 to May 4, 2022 — and will be automatically renewed on its anniversary date for a two-year period unless otherwise determined by Newkirk or the city.
The city’s previous city manager contracts, for Magaluk and Amy Williams before that, were for three years.
Newkirk will have 80 hours of PTO, as well as health and disability insurance through the city’s insurer, Priority Health HMO. The city will match contributions to his retirement fund and seed a life insurance policy.
After his first month in the position, the city’s personnel, rules and ethics committee will meet with Newkirk to establish goals for his first year as city manager.
Additionally, a performance review will be scheduled for three months prior to the end of the first year of the contract — sometime in February 2022 — to evaluate his first year based on the goals outlined by the personnel committee.
The contract stipulates that if Newkirk is permanently disabled or otherwise unable to perform his duties as a result of sickness, accident or injury for four successive weeks, or for 20 out of 30 work days, the city has the option to prematurely terminate the contract and issue a lump-sum severance payment.
Newkirk will perform city administration tasks and serve be answerable to the city commission. He will also serve as Scottville’s zoning administrator, and will be required to “understand and manage” finance, planning, human resources, public works, and parks and recreation tasks, per the contract.
Newkirk will be granted use of a city vehicle, or be reimbursed for mileage outside the city limits if a vehicle is not available.
Newkirk will also receive the state mandated one hour of comp time per hour worked.
Prior to coming to Scottville, Newkirk was a DNR parks and recreation officer residing in Oscoda. He has roots in the Scottville area, however, having attended Mason County Central Schools.
Newkirk stated he was happy to be back home. During an interview for the position, conducted on April 15 by the city commission, Newkirk stressed that he would focus on revitalization and economic growth, particularly with respect to vacant properties. He said he hopes to make Scottville a more inviting place for prospective newcomers by bringing new businesses and housing opportunities to the city.
He also said that he would seek out grants to help with community development.
Newkirk’s first city commission meeting will be on Monday, May 17.
Tug Zeu pulling the barge Robert F. Deegan passes the SS Badger in Pere Marquette Lake Saturday evening before heading past the Ludington North Breakwater Light. Meanwhile, on Lake Michigan off Ludington State Park the pusher tug Caroline McKee heads north towards its destination of Charlevoix.
Steve Begnoche photos
LACA now accepting artwork for June LGBTQ exhibit
The Ludington Area Center for the Arts and West Shore Pride are again teaming up to host an LGBTQ art exhibit, slated for display in the arts center’s performance hall gallery June 4-26.
The exhibit will feature artwork created by LGBTQ artists and artists who create art with themes of equality and love.
LACA will be accepting artwork for the exhibit through May 18. Artists are limited to five submissions. Jewelry, prints, textiles, sculptures, ceramics, mobiles, collage, mixed-media, photography, pastels and paintings of watercolor, oil and watercolor are accepted. 2D work should be ready to hang. No yarn, string, or sawtooth hangers are allowed. Pedestals are available for 3D pieces.
A public artist reception for the exhibit will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 4. The event will be free and open to the public. Face masks and social distancing will be required at all times.
The Pere Marquette Charter Township Board on Tuesday will turn its attention back to First Street Business Park, where a handful of purchase agreements for retail space are still being revised.
The board meets in-person at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the township hall, 1699 S. Pere Marquette Hwy.
At its previous meeting, on April 27, the board approved a $70,000 offer from Nelson Industrial Construction & Engineering for Lots 11, 12 and 13 for a non-perishable food distribution center.
However, Township Supervisor Jerry Bleau said the purchasers reconsidered the offer and determined that only two of the three lots would be needed.
A revised agreement for Lots 12 and 13, for $50,000, will be considered on Tuesday.
The board will also consider a revised $25,000 offer for Lot 4. The board previously approved a bid from Foam Works LLC and Nelson for the space. In the resolution for the proposal on Tuesday’s agenda, Nelson is now listed as the sole purchaser.
The board will also consider a resolution to allow golf carts to be used on certain designated roads within the township.
If passed, people would be allowed to operate golf carts on streets in the township at no more than 15 mph. Carts would not be allowed on the highway or on any streets with a speed limit exceeding 30 mph, “except to cross the state trunkline highway or street.”
Bleau stated in a memo attached to Tuesday’s meeting agenda, that he was asking for trustees’ support in amending the township’s solid waste agreement to allow residents to purchase an additional pick-up cart for a $45 quarterly fee. Bleau stated that the added service would not lead to any additional costs for the township.